26 episodes

This podcast gets behind the desk of influential leaders in insurance and InsurTech who are driving change and innovation in the sector.

Every week, I will meet a new tech leader to find out more about their background and career to date. How they arrived in the insurance space, what they love about the sector, their views on where its headed and a deep dive into the person behind the desk!

Behind the Desk... with Mark Thomas Eames Group

    • Technology

This podcast gets behind the desk of influential leaders in insurance and InsurTech who are driving change and innovation in the sector.

Every week, I will meet a new tech leader to find out more about their background and career to date. How they arrived in the insurance space, what they love about the sector, their views on where its headed and a deep dive into the person behind the desk!

    Episode 26: Linda Cooke, CIO at Chaucer

    Episode 26: Linda Cooke, CIO at Chaucer

    Welcome to another episode of the Behind the Desk podcast. In this episode, I’m joined by Linda Cooke, group CIO (Chief Information Officer) at leading specialty (re)insurance company, Chaucer.  
    Linda has been working in technology for over 25 years and joined Chaucer a year ago in a newly created CIO role. A year into the role, and with over two decades of experience behind her, Linda and I talk about the challenges she’s faced in taking on the top role in technology and how the learning she’s taken from the last 20 years has helped shape how she’s tackled those challenges.  
    In this episode, Linda gives some brilliant advice to those just starting out in their careers, graduates and those hovering at levels just level CIO. We get to see how she’s shaped her career by taking sideways moves and always trying to be brave when taking risks in her career moves.  
    Linda was a great guest, and I loved to hear her talk about how her career has evolved and her candid insight into the good and the bad she’s experienced along the way.  
    So, let’s get behind the desk with Linda Cooke.  
    Connect with Linda on LinkedIn.  
    Connect with Mark on LinkedIn.   

    • 55 min
    Episode 25: Paul Brotzel, previous Chief Information Officer at Aon

    Episode 25: Paul Brotzel, previous Chief Information Officer at Aon

    Welcome to Episode 25, Season 3 of the Behind the Desk Podcast! Join me as I chat with Paul Brotzel, who has recently left his role as CIO at Aon in the UK. 
    Paul has a huge amount of technology leadership experience, having led technology functions for over 20 years. He's spent the last nine years working for Aon in CIO positions across various areas of their business. Prior to that, he spent time at Allianz, as well as a few other well-known firms. In this episode I chat to Paul about his evolution into the CIO role, how he's seen the position and the insurance industry evolve in his time working in the sector. 
    This episode has heaps of advice for those budding CIOs listening to the podcast. So, without further delay, let's get behind the desk with Paul Brotzel. 
    Connect with Paul on LinkedIn. 
    Connect with Mark on LinkedIn.  

    • 52 min
    Episode 24: Jen Dallas, Capability Transformation Director at RSA

    Episode 24: Jen Dallas, Capability Transformation Director at RSA

    This was the final episode of the previous season of Behind the Desk and officially holds the record for the most listens across the podcast so far - so I thought there was no better time than now to re-release it for those who haven't listened yet!
    Jen is currently leading a huge TOM redesign and RSA and was a brilliant guest. She is a Women in Technology advocate, STEM ambassador and qualified coach. In this episode, she talks about her views on how we start turning the dial on diversity and inclusion, how the insurance industry compares to the travel industry, the idea of open insurance and her approach to change and transformation.
    This was easily one of the most enjoyable conversations I have had so far, so much so we nearly hit the hour mark. Jen has an amazing career history, from coding at four years old to working in the travel industry, falling back into technology accidentally, and becoming an Insurtech leader.
    I can’t wait for you to hear her story, so let’s get behind the desk with Jen. 

    • 55 min
    Episode 23: Louise Marling, Previous Chief Operating Officer at Hiscox

    Episode 23: Louise Marling, Previous Chief Operating Officer at Hiscox

    Welcome to Episode 23, Season 3 of the Behind the Desk Podcast! Join me as I chat with Louise Marling, previous Chief Operating Officer at Hiscox. Louise has recently left Hiscox as the COO of their UK retail business and is about to take some time out before she embarks on her next position. 
    Louise has had a variety of experiences throughout her career from starting as an insurance clerk after completing her economics degree to being in a key leadership role at Hiscox. She's amassed a depth and breadth of experience that is rare to see.  
    I've known Louise for a couple of years now and I am so excited I get to speak to her on my podcast. In this episode, she shares some brilliant insights on how to overcome challenges in life and your career.  Louise is great and I'm really looking forward to seeing what she does for her next role. But before that, let's get behind the desk with Louise Marling. 
    Connect with Louise on LinkedIn. 
    Connect with Mark on LinkedIn.  

    • 54 min
    Episode 22: Karen McDonagh Reynolds, CTrO at Velonetic

    Episode 22: Karen McDonagh Reynolds, CTrO at Velonetic

    Welcome to Episode 22, Season 3 of the Behind the Desk Podcast! Join me as I chat with Karen McDonagh Reynolds, Chief Transformation Officer at Velonetic. She is leading arguably the most groundbreaking and pivotal transformation initiatives in the insurance sector - delivering Blueprint II at Velonetic, previously known as the Lloyds Joint Venture. 
    In this episode, we speak about her career, which did not start off in insurance. She shares with us her journey of how she got into insurance, and how different it looked both culturally and from a technology perspective.  
    Karen has not only been named in the CIO Top 100 twice but has led some of the most groundbreaking technology modernization initiatives across some of the biggest names in the sector. Most importantly, she has a brilliant personality with an infectious nature and is the kind of person you could talk to for absolutely hours. And I very nearly did so. 
    Let's get behind the desk with Karen McDonough Reynolds. 
    Connect with Karen on LinkedIn. 
    Connect with Mark on LinkedIn.  

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Episode 21: Graeme Howard, previous Chief Information and Security Officer at Covéa Insurance

    Episode 21: Graeme Howard, previous Chief Information and Security Officer at Covéa Insurance

    Welcome to Episode 21, Season 3 of the Behind the Desk Podcast! Join me as I chat with Graeme Howard, who has recently left his role as CTIO at Covéa Insurance in the UK, to work on some short-term engagements as a non-exec.
    In this episode, we really find out why Graeme isn't your typical insurance CIO with a typical background. Talking us through his thoughts and history he shares some invaluable lessons about resilience, leading high-performing teams, and simply what is possible in a sector like insurance when you look outside of the industry for some inspiration. There are some brilliant stories in this episode, and I personally learned a lot from chatting with him and I hope you do too. Let’s get behind the desk with Graeme. 
    Connect with Graeme on LinkedIn. 
    Connect with Mark on LinkedIn.  

    • 1 hr 2 min

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